While the electric car world is focused on a few players in the solid-state battery game, Nissan was making progress behind the scenes and without any fanfares. The company is so sure of its development that it is already working on a trial factory where the manufacturing process will be honed in.
That factory will be ready in just 2 years and Nissan aims to perfect large-scale manufacturing by 2026 and then scale up production in another couple of years. By 2028 Nissan wants to introduce to the market an electric car powered by its own solid-state battery.
Let’s not forget it is Nissan who brought the very first electric car to the market - it was the Nissan Leaf back in 2010. It was another two years before we saw the Tesla Model S - sure, it blew the Leaf out of the water but the fact remains, Nissan was first. And while every company out there squabbles for lithium supplies or replacements and new battery technology, Nissan kept its head down and kept working.
How far has the development gone? According to the company, the current battery cells are about 10cm in diameter and the final product will be about the size of a laptop. Those cells are all-solid though, they aren’t semi-solid like some designs from other manufacturers. There is absolutely no liquid of any kind inside.
Development of the solid-state batteries is not the sole purpose of the new technology. Nissan not only wants to eliminate the liquids and make the batteries safer and more energy dense. The company wants to achieve 50% cost reduction when compared to current lithium batteries. That on its own, is a huge goal, together with the solid-state battery tech it starts to look almost impossible.
Can Nissan pull it off? According to David Moss, Nissan’s VP of research and development, it is already doing it. The new solid-state battery not only offers more energy density but it can recharge up to 3 times faster. That translates to smaller batteries to achieve the same range and recharging time comparable to refueling - and that is the Holy Grail.
It means electric cars won’t need to be heavier any more, will have the same range and will take the same time to recharge them as their fossil-fueled counterparts. The disadvantage of EV ownership disappears at that moment, the only issue that remains is charging infrastructure.
While the work on the solid-state battery goes on, the company is not stopping development of the current technology. In fact Nissan expects to see two more generations of Lithium batteries before the solid-state technology takes over. We can expect to see the new batteries from Nissan in the next two years with its first cobalt-free cells to be introduced shortly before 2028.
What car will be the first with the solid-state battery? It’s too early to tell, the market is changing rapidly, the SUV craze will fade away and we will have a new trend well before 2028. Nissan just unveiled its vision of the future a few days ago with its electric convertible Max-Out and it would lend itself nicely to showcase new tech.
2028 is only 5 years away and in the electric car world that’s a very long time, Nissan won’t be the only company to offer solid-state batteries. The competition is not sleeping, our future depends on more efficient batteries and if we just look back at the technology from 10 years ago, we can realize the huge progress we’ve achieved already. The next 10 years will change the world as we know it.Nissan ESflow